I just want to say, for the record, that it's starting to feel like there are a lot more Wednesdays in the week than there used to be.
Today's prompt: Write a short story (or start a longer story) with this as the opening line: "Imogene Hornwinkle was the meanest, nastiest, most horrible girl in all of third grade" (Courtesy of Glen and Karen Bledsoe's Writing for Children website http://www.gkbledsoe.com/articles/process/prompts.html.)
Imogene Hornwinkle was the meanest, nastiest, most horrible girl in all of third grade.
I would know because she was also my best friend.
How could this be, you ask? How could a girl as sweet as me be friends with such a monster, a girl who, the first day we met, popped the head off of my favorite Barbie doll and flushed it down the toilet? A girl who hides dead bugs in her desk just so she can toss them down the shirt of the nearest unsuspecting bystander? A girl who purposely dives into the mud in protest of the dress her mom made her wear that day, and then blames me for pushing her?
I don't know how it happened.
I had never even talked to Imogene except to tell her to leave me alone and yes, she could have the cookie from my lunch, just please don't cut my hair with those scissors. But that day, the pretty girls in class--Brittany McDonald, Clare Durphy, and Shirley Wolster--clustered around my lunch table, intent on making me their victim because Clare hadn't known what "illiterate" meant when the teacher asked her, and I had raised my hand and given the correct definition.
"Nice dress, Janie," Shirley said in a sing-song voice. "You must like it, since you wear it everyday."
"I have a word for you," Clare hissed. "Do you know what 'dork' means?"
Brittany laughed. "Yeah, or 'loser'? Or 'ugly'?"
I sank further and further into my chair, wishing I could disappear entirely. I imagined they would keep making fun of me until I laid my head down and cried, and even then, but just as their jeers were cutting deep, I heard another voice. When I saw Imogene pushing her way through my three tormentors, I was sure she was coming to join in the fun.
To my surprise, she turned on Brittany. "Who are you calling ugly, Buckteeth?"
Brittany started, then scowled. "Imogene Hornwinkle, you..."
But Imogene was turning her attention to Clare. "And you. Janie can't help it that she's smarter than you. Everyone is. Maybe you should start reading the dictionary."
"What would you know about it, Imogene?" Shirley sneered. "You failed last week's spelling test."
"On purpose," Imogene bragged, smirking. "And besides, you didn't see me making fun of Janie just because I failed and she didn't. That's stupid. Oh, but I like your dress."
Shirley smiled. "Thank you."
"But I think it needs something..." That's when we realized Imogene was holding something behind her back. Before Shirley knew what hit her, she was wearing the remnants of Imogene's lunch--mashed potatoes and peas in her hair, chocolate milk all over the front of her dress, yogurt dribbling down her arms. With a shriek she dashed toward the bathroom, followed closely by Clare and Brittany.
Imogene placed her now-empty tray on the table and took a seat next to me. I just stared at her, my mouth hanging open in awe.
"Shut your trap, Janie. You look like a fish."
I closed my mouth quickly, then mumbled, "Thank you."
She either didn't hear me or pretended not to. "I didn't finish my lunch. Give me your cookie."
"Do it or I'll break your arm."
I handed her the cookie.
We were best friends from then on.
The Brown-Eyed Girl